Miniature of the Annunciation; decorative border.
Parchment; f. 1; 9 lines of text and music, the text written in a formal and very spiky Germanic gothic book hand, and the music in square notation on 4-line staves, with a custos at the end of each line of staves; the vertical rules on either side of the written space are doubled.
A square miniature opens the feast of the Annunciation, the height of almost 2 lines of text and music: enclosed in a wooden frame, in a large and deep Renaissance-style bedroom, with a long hall reaching straight back to a garden, the archangel Gabriel approaches in flight from the upper left, with the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove above the Virgin's head, as she turns backwards from her prayers to see the angel; a large vase with lilies sits in the center of the floor. For another pattern of the same miniature, see, for example, Glasgow, University Library, Hunter MS 25 (S. 2.15), the one full-page miniature in the book (there are nine smaller miniatures), in a breviary with pictures attributed to the Master of the First Prayer Book of Maximilian. This manuscript is discussed in Thomas Kren and Scot McKendrick, Illuminating the Renaissance: the Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe (Los Angeles: Getty Museum, 2003), in a section by Thomas Kren on pp. 317-318, n. 89, with a reproduction of the Hunterian manuscript's miniature of the Annunciation.
In the BECPL manuscript, on the recto, a 2-sided border of interconnecting triangles in red, dark blue, green and yellow, each one decorated with faint drawings; the blue triangle directly below the archangel Gabriel contains a coat of arms: quarterly, 1 and 4, [two or three objects?], 2 and 3, argent [?], two bars [azure?]. The R that opens the chants for the Annunciation is rendered as if a 3-dimensional wooden letter, with shadows, sitting on a gray ground; other initials: two are the height of one line of text and one set of staves, in red; another initial, of the same size, is in black Elefantenr sel with flourishes of curled acanthus leaves, touched in green. Rubrics in red. Foliation in black ink in the center of the outer margin of the recto, and with the same number in early modern foliation in the upper right corner of the leaf: "xciiii" (= 94).
Written probably in Austria during the turn from the 15th to the 16th century; the assigning of this leaf to Italy in De Ricci's Census proves that De Ricci himself had not seen this leaf. According to the BECPL inhouse website, the leaf belonged to Louis Charles Elson (1848-1920), although there is no comment to that effect in De Ricci, and there is no oval or round sticker with Elson's name on the leaf (as there is on the leaves in this library's collection that certainly belonged to Elson). We are very grateful to Peter Kidd, who proposed the similar pattern of the Annunciation in the manuscript held in Glasgow, and to his citation of relevant bibliography
Title and date from De Ricci.
"Formerly used as a wrapper for deeds."--De Ricci
Bibliography: De Ricci. Census, p. 1212, no. 26
Gradual, with the end of the gradual chant and then the communion chant for the feast of St. Benedict (21 March), followed by the introit for the feast of the Annunciation (25 March), with its versicle and the beginning of its gradual; references to other parts of what was once the book that contained this leaf are, on the recto between the rubric and the beginning of the text, "Vultum tuum, fo. 1" and on the verso before the present gradual chant, "Graduale, Diffusa est, [fo.] lii."
Previously classified as RBR MSS. C33G76 1500


[15th to 16th century]

Date Created



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1 leaf (9 lines) of music ; 57.5 x 38 cm





RBR Mss. C33G76 1400z

Spatial Coverage



//[Vitam petiit] a te et tribuisti ei. Communio, Fidelis servus et prudens quem constituit dominus super familiam suam ut det illis in tempore tritici mensuram. Alleluia. In festo annunciationis beate marie virginis Introitus, Rorate celi desuper et nubes pluant iustum . . . Graduale, A summo celo egressio [eius]//

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